Two days of some of the best flat racing we see each year, the Breeders’ Cup provides us with a “final hurrah” for the flat racers in 2018. This year will be the 35th edition of this fantastic premier event, with plenty of fantastic group action to sink our teeth into. As always, the brilliant prize money and allure of Grade 1 trophies attracts plenty of horses from across the Atlantic, with Europe bringing a battalion of horses to challenge the North American charge. In this article, we’ll be discussing the European challenge and giving our view on their biggest chances over the coming two days. With the first day of action just around the corner, you can find our Breeders’ Cup selections on our Churchill Downs Tips page!
Day 1 (November 2nd)
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint – Solider’s Call (Archie Watson)
Four from seven over five furlongs, Solider’s Call has enjoyed a fine season and looks to have a great chance to win another graded contest. Winner of the Windsor Castle at Royal Ascot, he’s subsequently landed both a Group 3 and Group 2 contest in great style. He was beaten a head in Group 1 company at Longchamp in October and sets the form standard on that basis, so a big run looks inbound.
Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf – Line of Duty (Charlie Appleby)
A 400,000gns purchase, Line of Duty arrives here chasing a hat-trick following an impressive win in a Group 3 at Chantilly last month. He travelled powerfully and quickened clear readily, looking a very smart prospect. He has the chance to prove it today against some talented opposition in Anthony Van Dyck, who was placed in Group 1 company recently. Charlie Appleby won this race in 2013 and looks to have a fantastic chance of gaining another notch with this Godolphin inmate.
Day 2 (November 3rd)
Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Turf – Wild Illusion (Charlie Appleby)
A second entry on the list for Charlie Appleby and Godolphin. Wild Illusion was second in the Investec Oaks at Epsom in June and arrives here on the back of two Group 1 victories. She defeated Magic Wand to win the Prix de l’Opera Longines last time and reopposes that rival here, though Appleby’s charge is clearly in tip-top shape and should hold the form. Although she has a leading chance, she’ll have to go some to defeat Sistercharlie, who also arrives on the back of two Grade 1 victories.
Breeders’ Cup Mile – Polydream (Freddy Head)
The first on the list for France, Polydream was a Group 1 winner at Deauville in August, landing the Prix Maurice de Gheest with a gutsy effort. She couldn’t have been more unlucky in the Prix de la Foret when last seen, never able to find a gap. There were positives to take, however, in the way she travelled and quickly closed when she found an opening. Hopefully, she’ll have better luck on Saturday for her supporters and has an obvious chance if getting the splits. Oscar Performance arrives on the back of a win in the Grade 1 Woodbine Mile and is going to put up stern resistance for North America, however, so she will need to be at the top of her game.
Breeders’ Cup Turf – Multiple Chances
One of the best races of the meeting, the Breeders’ Cup Turf features a plethora of European trained horses with leading chances in a race stacked full of quality. The obvious talking point is Enable, who has won nine of her ten starts and is a superstar. She won her second Arc at Longchamp last month and that form sets the standard in the race, with a win in this contest being a brilliant way for her to cap off the season. This is no cakewalk, however, with Waldgeist reopposing her from the Arc. Andre Fabre’s charge ran a cracker in that race after not quite getting the splits and he’s unlikely to be far away, though he’ll need to run a stormer to overturn John Gosden’s star. Talismanic won the race last year for Andre Fabre, but this is a more competitive renewal and he needs to leave behind a weak effort in the Arc.
Breeders’ Cup Classic – Roaring Lion (John Gosden)
One of the stories of the season, Roaring Lion arrives here on the back of four Group 1 successes, latterly at Ascot when landing the Queen Elizabeth II Stakes. Tough, tenacious and gutsy, it would cap off a memorable season if he were to land this fantastic prize. The problem for him, lies in the surface, as dirt is an unknown and it’s very difficult to know whether he’ll take to it with much vigour, with the kick-back a possible issue.